The Shanes Castle May Day Steam Rally is held in the beautiful picturesque grounds surrounding the ruins of the old castle in Shanes Castle Estate near Antrim. It is the biggest and best organised vintage event in N. Ireland and is one of the premier rallies on the all Ireland vintage scene.
It is one of the best attended vintage events and regularly attracts crowds of 15k -18k over the two days. There are over 800 exhibitors with steam engines of all types, vintage tractors, commercial vehicles, vintage cars, stationary engines, threshing mills, stonebreakers and many other vintage agricultural and industrial machines.
The working arenas have threshing and baling, timber sawing, stone breaking and around the Rally Field there are demonstrations of blacksmithing, stone carving, hedging, fencing, stick carving, basket weaving, bread baking, butter making and other traditional skills.
There are steam engines rides, a huge fairground with more than thirty rides and side shows and two mobile open farms with lots of animals for the kids to cuddle and caress. In the main arena there are continuous displays of stunt driving and riding, sheepdog working demonstrations, RTC rescue demonstrations, Birds of Prey flying displays, Army Displays and demonstrations etc.
Catering facilities cover the traditional range of fast foods such as burgers, pasties, fish and chips, crepes, hog roast etc. There are also two bars, one in the Rally Field and the one in the old Station. The Craft Marquee has more than 50 stalls selling all kinds of goods including pens, paper products, pictures, jewellery, hats, scarves, cushions, badges, antiques, jams, preserves, chutneys, honey, curries, health products and so on.
The Trade Stand area has over 70 stands selling new and used tools and engineering equipment, autojumble, antiques, furniture, pictures and paintings, clothing, toys, garden furniture, house clearances, bric-a-brac and much, much more.
The event is a great family day out as it is designed to be Family Friendly and provides entertainment for all members of the family: mums, dads, the kids and granny and grandad too! In fact, all ages from three to ninety three!
Car parking is free and entrance charges are a modest £10 per adult, £5 for children under 12, £8 for senior citizens and a family ticket at £25 covers 2 adults and up to 3 children.
There is a Public Campsite close to the Rally where caravaneers and campers can stay over the holiday weekend for a modest charge. Caravanners and campers get discounted admission to the Rally. Full details of the Public Campsite are available on our website.
Our website: www.shanescastlesteamrally.co.uk and our Facebook page Facebook.com/ShanesCastleSteam have lots more information for visitors e.g. how to get to Shanes Castle, where to stay, where to eat, where to go for some ‘retail therapy’, places of interest and places to visit in the Antrim area.